“Workhorse” & “A Chambéry Stroll” by Christine Kwon

Illustration of a neon- and multi-colored hand of yellow, red, green, blue and purple holding a purple amethyst.


He said yesterday a student told me a great quote from Samuel L. Jackson
When you’re solitary don’t be idle and when you’re idle don’t be solitary
and it frightened me
because it was the exact opposite of what I was saying

I needed a cabin on a lake in the woods with a red boat
all other boats canceled
and many packs of turquoise cigarettes and enough iced tea to fill the lake
maybe sandwich stuff

Because I love you I do the dishes I was thinking
I was trying to convince him that we’re two different people
that to write poems I had to stay home doing nothing
listen to a pair of wings flickering

But aesop’s tale of the horse and mule unsettles me
The mule gives the horse the whole load
until the horse’s heart gives out
No, I cannot be the mule

brittany murphy’s ‘comfort zone’ where ‘she ultimately died
was the bathroom
she spent hours in there reading magazines
singing to herself, writing poetry, sampling her beauty
products, and looking at herself in the mirror’—

I felt god was trying to tell me something in the article
but the voice in my heart was stronger than it
my kitten crying for a minnow was more pitiful

I turned away from the voice
like a sensible person

I turned the amethyst
in my hand
but it was only a memory

A Chambéry Stroll

I don’t do well with chaos people



Bayou picnic tomorrow?


flood of texts.

Look I’m ready she said

bachelorette party
six levelheaded girls
bar Marilou

Someone said chaos person



A Chambéry Stroll
A Tokyo Record
And a Femme Fatale

I’ll take the Strawberry slushie
With champagne
Poured all over it—

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Christine Kwon is the 2022 winner of the Cowles Poetry Book Prize. Her first collection of poems, A Ribbon the Most Perfect Blue, is forthcoming from Southeast Missouri State University Press in spring 2023. She lives in New Orleans. You can find her on insta @theschooloflonging or christinekwonwrites.com.

Rachel Browne is a musician, writer and visual artist living somewhere in New England. She writes and performs in the band Field Mouse, which she formed after graduating from the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College in 2009. She is currently earning a Master of Social Work degree from Fordham University. Follow along for the unlikely event of an update at rachelbrowne.net and on Twitter at @rachelbrowne.